The Journey Home

What I’m about to write may make this trip seem miserable. It really wasn’t. In fact, I think it went rather well. Out of the entire 350 mile drive, we only have a few minutes of, well, shall we say, challenges. Those challenges are what make a trip like this blogging material.

We started out from Des Moines around 9:30 a.m. I was driving, my sister was in the passenger seat, and Lily and Emmy were safely secured in their car seats. We had plenty of snacks, I filled the tank, and we got on the road.

Both girls were equipped with a Magna Doodle. They kept their aunt busy drawing pictures for them. Emmy soon developed a pattern. She want Aunty to draw a “baby poopy diaper” (that means a baby WITH a poopy diaper. She said “poopy diaper” during this trip quite a bit, since she was having some poopy problems. Prune juice is a miracle cure, people.) So once Emmy received her picture, she would scribble on it, and then demand Aunty for another “baby poopy diaper!”

For Lily, Aunty would draw an incomplete picture, such as a zebra, and Lily would finish it by adding stripes, ears, a tail, etc. This activity kept Lily occupied for a long time.

We stopped for lunch, and as we continued on our way, Emmy fell asleep. It was during her nap that the BIG MISFORTUNE happened. We had just crossed the border into Illinois, and I was gabbing away with my sister, passing a big semi that was going too slow, and I missed the sign. And the turnoff. For I88. In the middle of nowhere.

I was on I80, so we decided to just keep on going for a few miles, and take a two lane highway back up to I88. We went through a small town, saw the hogs at a pig farm, crossed the flooded Rock River, and finally made it back to I88. The detour was entirely my fault, and cost us about half an hour. Emmy woke up just as we were back on I88 again. Fortunately, she was in a good mood.

I was determined to make it to the DeKalb oasis, about a 90 mile drive from where we were. There’s not many places to stop in Northern Illinois, and I figured at the oasis the kids could run around a bit before we got back into the car for the final haul. About 15 miles before the oasis, Emmy decided she had had enough. She cried like she has never cried before. Honestly, I thought she was going to heave up a lung. And right before the exit to the oasis, it happened. She threw up. This shocked her so much she stopped crying.

Aunty was a good aunty, and cleaned her up the best she could with napkins. We finally parked the car, and I got Emmy out of her car seat. “WALK! WALK!” Emmy reached for the ground, and wanted nothing to do with me.

I thought the girls deserved a treat, so we got in line a McD’s for a treat. Lily wanted a chocolate shake. But when I ordered one, I was informed that the shake machine was broken. I ordered her an Oreo McFlurry instead, since that was what the rest of us were having. When we sat down, Lily thought she had a shake even though I had told her the shake machine was broken. When she figured out that it wasn’t a shake, having this huge cup of ice cream deliciousness in front of her still didn’t make her happy. IT WASN’T A SHAKE! (What is wrong with my child?) She had a HUGE meltdown.

We walked over to Starbucks, and I tried to convince her that a cookie would make everything better. (Cookies always make ME feel better.) She didn’t buy it. I saw some smoothies. Would that do? She decided that a smoothie was a kind of a shake, so yes, that would do. The smoothie she got was actually Mango juice, and very healthy. Hmph. If only I could comfort myself with Mango Tango instead of ice cream, I would be a skinny gal.

The next 65 miles back to our house was without incident. Let me tell you, I was really happy to walk into my own house, mess and all. Home Sweet Home. It’s true, you know.

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